A truly decisive moment? We all have at least one of great importance, in which the consequences of deciding wrongly can affect our entire life.
I’ve come to see life as like a river–its waters can be calm and serene, but also raging and terrifying–especially where the river bends. And there will always be a bend in the river of our life. Decisive moments when a deliberate decision must be made–a decision with consequences. Which way do we go?
Don’t we want our choice to be a good one?
Decision making is something we do constantly as we are faced with various courses of action in our lives. Some of our decisions are relatively minor ones, but some are major. These are decisions that require thought: What are the pros and cons? We must use reason and logic to choose correctly.
BUT Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber published a paper in 2011 that concluded many of us use our reason and logic, not to get to the truth or to make good decisions, but primarily to strengthen our position and persuade other people that we are right.
In other words, we are faking it when we selectively choose data to support our decision.
And we do this selfishly, sometimes without realizing it. When we decide selfishly, our choice rarely makes us happy, and can truly hurt others. In these situations, can we turn instead to the unselfish spirit within us for direction?
We must pay attention to what the true good is in order to make an informed decision. If we’re not after truth, but only after pumping our personal agendas, then our decisions are sideways, and often terribly wrong.
When we make decisions we should consider their affect on others, too. Because after traveling the long river of our life, our own eternity depends upon it. Bad choices and decisions–yours and mine–make our redemption necessary.
Creation itself began with God calling life out of the water. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Genesis 1:2
The water of a river is symbolic of our relationship with God, carrying the image of renewal, promise and hope. It is through water that we are baptized into the community of the church, and of course Jesus Himself was baptized with water in the River Jordan. It was the day he began his ministry, his loving, sacrificial choice to redeem us.
So, let’s notice the times in our lives when the river bends, those times when real truth, not fake truth, can impel us to decide the right way to go.